I grew up too close to the ocean
learned that beautiful is a dangerous word —
It fills mouths like saliva
demanding to be devoured.
The first time someone called me beautiful
I kissed him just so I could take the words
from his mouth and spit them out.
There are still days when loving my body
means bottling it in a jar
and hoping it glows like fireflies,
but I have been practicing my man-voice,
comparing it to the way waves hit the shore.
I have been teaching myself
that I am a god damn hurricane
in this landlocked body I call home.
I finally know what it feels like
to take my own breath away.